Unadorned lemon cakes may seem simple, but when tasted, one realizes they do not need embellishments. Serves 8 to 10
4 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. finely chopped lemon zest
6 large egg whites
1 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar
A 9-inch round by 3-inch-high cake pan, buttered and floured
Fill a medium saucepan 1/3 full of water. Bring the water to a low boil.
In a medium stainless steel bowl whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, and 1/2 cup of
the sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup of the lemon juice.
Set the bowl into the pot of boiling water, making sure the water doesn't touch the
bottom of the bowl. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally until thick, about 10 minutes. Strain the lemon curd. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface. Chill until cold.
Sift together the cake flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the salt and baking powder.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the lemon curd, butter, lemon zest and remaining 3 tbsp lemon juice. Mix until well combined. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whip attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Increase to high speed and gradually add the remaining 1-1/2 cups sugar. Whip until soft peaks form.
Fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Spread the cake batter in the cake pan.
Bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 50 to 55 minutes.
Cool and then unmold the cake.
To serve, dust the cake with confectioners' sugar.
The cake can be made a day in advance.
Store wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature.